GameStop: Pre-owned games are "good for the industry"
Retail behemoth defends its practice.
GameStop is often seen as the big bad wolf in the games industry with its focus on used games sales and trade-ins, but its higher ups believe this anger to be misplaced and that its practices are beneficial to the industry.
According to GameStop president Paul Raines in a feature by Gamasutra, 70 per cent of income consumers make trading in their games ends up being spent immediately on new games. This results in a $1.8 billion injection into the games industry.
"We are not ashamed of the pre-owned business and in fact we believe that it's good for the industry," Raines added.
The company often gets flack for selling pre-owned new releases a scant $5 less than its full retail value, but the execs insisted that this is a rarity and people generally hang on to new games for at least six weeks.
Raines said, "We're really not cannibalizing new game sales. That's a common misconception. So my answer to developers is that we are driving growth in a category that needs to grow. We think there's a real lack of awareness as far as how it's good for the industry. The transparency you're seeing from us is because we want people to know about it, helping people understand what we're trying to do for the industry."
Trying to match a face to the conglomerate, Raines added, "We don't sell groceries. We are all about gaming. I play four hours of video games a week. Our office is filled with gamers and people who are into video games. We are authentically into gaming. This isn't a company that dabbles in it. Yeah, we have a business model, we have to make profits, but we're really into video gaming."
Ultimately, Raines points out that there is a demand for pre-owned games. "The pre-owned business is not going to go away overnight. No matter what happens, there will be people who want a $9.99 Madden 07. They don't have $59 to pay for the new game."
"We've got a ton of customers still playing PS2 games. I mean, where do you buy PS2 games anymore except GameStop?" Of course the answer is eBay, other online secondary markets, or local mom and pop chains.